Uber has announced today that it’ll require drivers to take selfies before signing on to the platform and accepting ride requests. This is a new feature it calls Real-Time ID Check, and is a new measure to prevent fraud and also helps protect drivers’ accounts from being compromised. This comes as concerns that some Uber drivers have never undergone background checks.
Uber, which has been trying out this now Real Rime ID check features in some countries for several months now and says that under the new requirement, drivers will be asked periodically to take a selfie in the app before they accept rides. Uber’s chief security officer Joe Sullivan wrote in a blog post said “We then use Microsoft’s Cognitive Services to instantly compare this photo to the one corresponding with the account on file, if the two photos don’t match, the account is temporarily blocked while we look into the situation.”
Before they can start driving for Uber, drivers are required to submit their full name, date of birth, social security number, driver’s license number, a copy of their driver’s license, vehicle registration, insurance, and proof of a completed vehicle inspection. The ride-hail company does not collect fingerprints from drivers, nor does it require any face-to-face interaction with drivers before allowing them to start accepting fares.
Some would argue that the new requirement by Uber is an admission that its drivers routinely swap and share accounts. The company has outsourced its background checks to a company called Checkr, which is nationally accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners.